Ebonyi: Ex- SSG, Umahi Trade Words over Sack of Commissioner


The immediate past Secretary to the Ebonyi State Government, Professor Bernard Ifeanyi Odoh has replied Governor David Umahi over the allegation he influenced the sack of a former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Chief Ogodo-Ali Moses when he held sway as SSG.

Governor Umahi had on Thursday while swearing-in Chief Ogodo-Ali who was reinstated as Commissioner designate after about four months of his dismissal alleged that he should have been suspended and not outright sack if not for the former SSG’s influence.

Prof Odoh had voluntarily resigned after serving as SSG for about 30 months in Umahi’s cabinet last April, and has defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, last week.

The former SSG in his reaction to Umahi’s claim urged him to concentrate more on addressing the numerous economic challenges facing the State than dwelling on trivialities

Chief Ogodo-Ali hails from same Ezza North Local Government Area of the State of the state with the former SSG.

Odoh said: ‘If Governor Umahi can shamelessly claim that he sacked his commissioner on the bases of an alleged verbal communication with me, it stands to reason that his judgement is not only questionable but extremely faulty.

“Otherwise, how could a man with a sound mind entrusted with the fate of over 3 million people take such a weighty decision hastily, carelessly, and without due consideration. Excellencies are not expected to act without clarity of thoughts and logic. This is the trouble with the present government. All her policies are not only ill conceived but ill motivated. The present attempt at cover up is both cheap and demeaning of his status’.

According to him, “The government cannot be taking on personalities in the State when practically every Ebonyian is getting poorer and broke under its watch without modest efforts to address the many economic woes buffeting the people that elected it. It is only regrettable that whilst this blame-game and buck-passing is daily on in the State, the people now live on less than $200 as it’s per capital income.”

He said it was further a thing of great concern that the Umahi-led administration might not even be aware that latest economic rankings put Ebonyi in 32nd spot out of the 36 States of the federation in the Per-Capital-Income rating and the 33rd spot in the entire federation in the Ease of Doing Business, noting that the government has regrettably not attracted a single investor into the State since its inception.

Odoh said Investors are rarely attracted to economic environments with this kind of ridiculous ranking.

“Like I had expressly stated in my resignation letter and which some knowledgeable and reasonable members of the Ebonyi public are also already aware, there are lots of policy failures going on under the watch of the Governor which he has failed to address. The Governor should therefore lay by pedestrian issues and face economic, governance and development issues”, he had maintained.

According to him, “these issues include but not limited to: total collapse of public institutions of State, inoperative bureaucracy with Ministries having no Permanent Secretaries, near closure of the Local Government system in the State and over-centralized control of MDAs,” he added.

He noted that public infrastructures were all concentrated in mainly two locations; the Governor’s Uburu hometown and the Abakaliki Capital city with no serious efforts being made to drive developments down to the grassroots.

He further accused the government of deliberately introducing the policies of starvation, redundancy and unproductivity in the State’s Civil service while Pensioners and Retirees have long been abandoned to fatalistic resignation.

While further accusing the government of over-taxation, official extortion and exploitation of tax payers, corrupted contract system and land racketeering allegedly being elevated as a State’s policy, the former Scribe reiterated that all these and many more should ordinarily be the issues which the State government should be addressing and not the “redeployed, sacked and now re-appointed Commissioner without a portfolio”.

“Leaders accept responsibilities for their actions and inactions. Blaming me for being responsible for the sacking of his Commissioner is childish and depicts his lowest level of leadership style. The governor Umahi is a bully. Those under his leadership are aware of this. It only affirms my earlier assertions that his government is leadership by Identity Cards and positions rather than disposition”, he further maintained.

He also asserted that “after all, his Ezza clan including those on the streets and in villages know those who actually have their greatest interest at heart”, alleging further that the government is only stepping its game of desperation for re-election in 2019 by mischievously trying to set brothers, unions, associations and communities against each other.

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